It's fun to hear the commentary as Ryan and Patrick play the game together. The endurance run scratches an itch that I had for playing Chrono Trigger again, so thanks a bunch for doing it.
However, does anyone else cringe watching them play? I see the slow reaction times that Ryan has, not necessarily knowing beforhand what to do. When I played, I was always thinking about what techs to try, and I was pounding on that controller, issuing orders like the next round was gonna be my last. I was always blowing my money on items and grinding for the best gear currently available.
Microsoft entered into the foray of tele-video amusements back in, well, some time ago (XBox 1 was in 2001, not sure if Microsoft console games existed prior to). Since then, they've done some good things in the video games world. With XBox 2, they created, arguably, the best controller for the PC.
I've played with some gamepads for the pc, and nothing even comes close to the XBox 360 Controller. If you play any games on your PC that don't require keyboard and mouse (lots of indie games come to mind), you need to own an XBox 360 Controller with USB cable.
So...haven't been writing as much. Turns out class isn't so boring, now that we're getting to the end of the semester. I've essentially gotta polish up a website, put together portfolio for 2 classes, and I've got a monster of a final in script writing.
Recently, I've been jamming out on my huge blue DS. These original models are rather ginormous. I like to think that mine was the Ark the Autobots came to earth in...
SO, I've been rocking out on Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2: Electric Boogaloo. Maybe I'll write a review on it. It's definitely not like the original Tactics game for the PSX. It's more watered down in story and experience mechanics, which is sad. I wonder why Squeenix hasn't given this franchise the love it deserves? Look, just 'cuz it's a tactical rpg doesn't mean it's destined for handheld gaming... >_<;
My broski got some new DS games in the mail - Dragon Quest IV and Rune Factory 2. He got the former, and I'm playing the latter, taking a break from all that tactic schtuff.
Rune Factory 2 reeks of J-RPG. The first thing you get after powering up the game is an AWESOME animated video with AMAZING emo music in English. After pressing a button, you then get the main screen, and a voice enthusiastically says, "Rune Factory Two!", which is silly.
In fact, I'm gonna go on a limb here and assume ALL of the voice acting is silly. In the first scene, you essentially meet the main characters - a boy, a girl, and her huge father. I'm pretty sure he's voiced by Barry White. It's AWESOME. Sometimes, I'll hear the voice, and embarrassingly think it's time to slow dance with a girl. Yeah, there's just too much AWESOME here.
Anyway, just some thoughts - maybe I should write some reviews...
Please be advised that NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. will continue to support customers of Hellgate: London with online server support and play through January 31, 2009. In a further gesture of support, we will provide this server support free of charge to all fans and players of the game up until the shut down date.
All of us at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. appreciate your enthusiasm for Hellgate: London and look forward to providing you with future entertainment products.
For questions regarding the shut down or additional information about Hellgate: London, please visit the game’s official website at www.hellgatelondon.com.
Thanks you, Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Sad to see even their form email is broken...not that Hellgate: London was amazing...
I've been really busy lately. This semester has left me pretty much with 5 hours a week to play games. I don't really play much nowadays - just my account on WOW. It's crazy to think there are folks out there with lots of time and lots of money to go out and get all these new releases. I remember a time when the house only had one console - you were either a Nintendo family or a Sega family. If you had BOTH, well, you were filthy rich, weren't ya!
I've got a Wii collecting mounds of dust. And that's sad. The last game I played on it was Smash Bros. The last serious game I played on it was Twilight Princess, but I didn't beat it. The last serious game I beat was Metroid Prime 3. I wish Nintendo would release more games of this caliber.
Now, I've got some disposable income...but no real time to play any games outside of WOW. I'm eye-ing that Fallout 3 pretty hard, but I don't think I'll get it soon. My system could use a few upgrades...dual monitors would be awesome.
I'm spending more time reading, actually, than I do playing games. I guess it makes sense when you consider that I'm never home anymore. I'm reading this series called "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson. It's a pretty awesome series of books. There are 3 in all and I'm on the beginning of the second. It's a fantasy book, and instead of magic, the main super power in this series is that of consuming different metals and drawing upon that power to manipulate other metals in your surroundings. Not crazy Magneto manipulation, but just enough that, when done right, you're practically flying through the air and shooting out coins with your mind. Pretty cool, and a refreshing alternative to spells of fire and ice.
Why does it feel like this election year, I'm forced to pick the lesser of two evils? Maybe I'll drown my sorrow in some Lolcats and photoshopping Ryan Davis...
I remember a time more innocent and pure, when one could notice the early morning dew and realize that school was in session. I'd have to walk about a mile to get to my elementary school. But not without first waking up at the crack of dawn and watching some early morning TV!
One of those revolutionary 80's television shows that I grew fond of was called Video Power. For a wee lad like myself, it was a show like no other! The opening was fresh, the music was hip, and the dude hosting the sh ow was just uber. Johnny Arcade, they called him. A dude's Dude, indeed.
Looking back, the show's concept was savvy, yet very corporate. You start out with a question and answer session with Johnny Arcade, and kids in the audience tried to ask questions to stump Johnny at his game and overall jokery knowledge, similar to when Ryan tried to stump the ridiculously savant Jeff.
After this brief opening session, kids were chosen to do battle in the honorable courts virtual. Throughout the show we'd see them play games, trying to rack up the most points. In between status updates of these kids was an amazing concept - a cartoon show based on video game characters akin to Nintendo's Captain N.
This little animated ditty included video game characters like the knight from Wizards and Warriors, Tyrone from Arch Rivals, Kwirk the tomato, Bigfoot, and some police dude. I thought that Kwirk was pretty cool in his abilities. I can't remember who they fought against in the show, but Wikipedia tells me it was Mr. Big and some other characters. Funny that the Mr. Big they foiled in the cartoon show was truly the one controlling the Video Power TV show from behind the scenes - I'm pretty sure only a select number of games ever appeared on the show, depending on which game company was funding the bank roll.
At the end, one of the lucky kids who got the highest score was given a velcro suit to wear and sent thru the maze of aweful aweful videogames, where the kid could run around for about a minute and start slapping video games onto the velcro outfit. I always thought the games they were giving away were pretty lame - I'd never even heard of most of 'em, and the games that I liked just weren't on the show.
Now, apparently this is an amalgamation of the two formats the show went thru. I remember both, and my memories don't really show where one format began and another ended. I do remember the later formula was very colorful.
The one game I remember most being on that show was Heavy Barrel, from Data East. We actually had that game, and spent a lot of time trying to beat it. Data East was known for making hard games like that. Anyway, I remember clearly when Johnny Arcade pronounced the name. His East Coast accent really came out, making him sound like "Havvy Baarel". It was funny.
So you look at a show like that, and you see how far we've come, and how influential shows like this were, even though they were still pretty bad looking back. Mr. Arcade, I tip my hat off to you.
Johnny Arcade is a fictional character played by Stivi Paskoski. Apparently, Stivi has been a pretty busy dude.
One of the companies involved in producing Video Power also produced the American show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Gross.
So that guy in the green coat is now president of Live from Earth Entertainment, a production studio. Hasn't really done much since the glory days of Video Power.
In other podcasts, you've got a few guys just talkin' about their topic, and they'll shoot the breeze a little. But it's all boring, or the humor is waaaay flat, and you laugh - not funny haha, rather, funny boohoo. And you want to turn that business off and get another.
So you've got the Bombcast: four dudes that talk games...and stuff. But it's not boring - it's hilarious. Think Conan O'Brien, but without the random humor. And now we've got these same guys walking around (read: let loose) in Tokyo, Japan. And we get to hear their amazing stories as they experience the zaniness of Japanese culture and shopping. What a cool opportunity to go to Japan with your gamer friends and just hang out for a week. Just listening to the minutia that these guys go through (the weird soccer management game floor, the creepy doll shop, pwning and gettin' pwned at SFIV, etc.) is hilarious. Now we're getting the Bombcast pretty much every day. And that is Awesome.
So while these guys are out in the Land of the Rising Sun, Rich Gallup and some folks at 38 Studios release this video. And it's Awesome. It makes me think of the craziness that would happen back at that old website when these guys all worked together. In fact, back in the beginning of Giantbomb, their videos were a little crazy.
Whatever happened to that? Was it simply a bunch of crazy-nervous energy as GB was launching? Was it simply to show off all the capabilities of a fully functional battlestation? Hey, I'm all for the reviews and interviews on GB, but every now and then I think it'd be nice to see some of that crazy content you know they're holding back. Let's see some more Spicy Chipotle! Let's see some more Luchadeer! Let's see some crazy chase scenes!
So, another day at class, another lecture on website stuff. I gotta do something to stay awake, but what? I dunno...where is Giantbomb set up at? Their mailing address is 1001 Bridgeway in Sausalito. But what about their offices? What if I wanted to walk by and give the chaps there a hearty handshake and a pat on the back for such a good job? Can one really figure out where THE Giantbomb is sitting? I dunno...maybe...
I remember seeing some outside shots of Jeff and Ryan trying to get into the office. Let's take a look at some of the footage of the "How to Build a Bomb" videos:
Here's Jeff Gerstmann crossing the street, in front of a triangle-roof shack.
Get in the shade. What are those in the background, mailboxes? Paper dispensers?
A streetview of the neighborhood.
It's the Triangle shack again, but with Sausalito Yacht & Ship, and an address - 1306 Bridgeway
Ryan Davis in all his beardliness. We see some white rail detail on the building, like in the other picture.
The "How to Build a Bomb Ep 2" video has both Ryan and Jeff walking towards the camera and to their right to approach the office entrance. This is a little blurry, but it's important to show where the door is at - to the left of all that railing.
Okay, so we've painted a clear picture of scenes surrounding the Giant Bomb offices, and we've also got a good look at the office front door. Now, to every stalker and ex-lover's favorite tool, Google Maps!
Google Maps will estimate the address as well as provide a streetview of major cities in the US. Here we are at 1298 Bridgeway. There are the major landmarks - Triangle Shack and Sausalito Yacht & Shop.
At 1302, we've got a shot of the Yacht & Shop, and we've got those paper dispensers, too. Hey, remember when Jeff crossed the street? Let's flip around and see what's on the other side.
Here's the building across the street. Totally doesn't resemble what we're looking for (white railing and a door on the left of it). Well, when Jeff crossed the street, he also hopped into some shade. Let's find the shady crosswalk.
At 1290 Bridgeway, we see the crosswalk and some nice shade.
And at 1284, we see it: white railing, and a door on the left. There it is! The Giantbomb offices.
Midnight Brown has a very distinctive sound. When I loaded their music onto my iTunes, they were auto-classified as "Emobilly". I would expand on that a little and call their music "Electronic Hillbilly". Songs like "Cat Belt Buckle", "President of the Mall" and "Let's Do It (Undercover)" are akin to early 80's pop groups like Depeche Mode, Erasure, or early Moby. But that doesn't mean their music is bad - on the contrary, their simple electronic riffs lend to their light-hearted lyrical content and add to that distinct "yeah, we cooked this up on our own on the side, y'see?" sound.
Another aspect of Midnight Brown's music is the vocal and lyrical styling of Jeff and Chris. There are apparent hip-hop influences in their vocals here - lots of spoken word ("2084", "Call 'em Like You See 'em", "28 Hours a Day") and rapping ("Hey Piper", "In Panama", "Gravyrobbers") on their tracks. That shouldn't surprise us, considering Gerstmann's hip-hop upbringing. And some tracks are sung, of course.
Emotionally, topically, Midnight Brown is all over the place. Where groups like Ice-T will rap about hanging out with his posse and defying the police, or Depeche Mode with relationships and emo, Midnight Brown pretty much does their own thing. In fact, the only other group I can think of similar to MB's off-the-wall topics and lyrics is the rap artist known as Kool Keith (pretty much any Kool Keith album, but you can check out his spacey "Black Elvis" album for a good sampling). "Gravyrobbers" has the two singing/rapping about going around town, stealing gravy. "President of the Mall" is about how they would run a mall (with an excellent impression of ex-presidential runner Howard Dean). "2084" is a "what-if" scenario of daredevil Evel Knievel coming back from future timetravel to discuss events of the era 2084. You can expect pretty much all these songs to treat the subject matter of their title.
Right now I'm rockin' Midnight Brown out on my iPod and askin' my friends if they've ever heard of 'em. All of them have said "No", but maybe that'll change within the decade. I wonder if they do parties...
Kool Keith has worked with Ice-T under the group name Analog Brothers.